Coffee Éclairs AND a mention in New York Magazine!

The plan has always been to do the whole domestic thing until Layla goes to school.

It helps that I have never been tempted to climb the vertical career ladder (I have more of a horizontal, snake and ladders approach) and that my husband has enough ambition for four people.I’m secure in the knowledge that I haven’t and won’t miss the formative moments, minutes, hours and days of a warm, unfocused bundle becoming a person.  And that delicate as she is, she won’t be crushed by the possible coarseness of strangers.  Instead, she is allowed to form along her natural inclinations.Sometimes my girlfriends ask how it doesn’t drive me crazy, spending all that time together without a break.  But I just think of this as the Layla and me era, which will pass in the same way the previous eras of my life have, when she begins school.  Things are oppresive only if you think they are going to last forever.  And nothing does right? Still it’s hard not to get lost in the fabric that is the minutiae of everyday, like one of those fat black flies that buzz aimlessly against a pane of glass.  Or spending half an hour trying to find the right day underwear.  (What? You don’t have day of the week underpants?)That is why this blog has been so useful.  It  introduced a bit of structure, direction and soothing repetition (as opposed to the irritating repetition of putting playmobil toys and their accompanying tiny accessories away daily).  I’ve kept diaries since I learned how to write, often with scraps of things that I found interesting but without the risk of someone reading, they were little more than vessels into which I could discard thoughts that nagged me.I never expected people to read this blog but I hoped they would.So I am over the moon to be mentioned in this week’s New York Magazine!  ”The Urbanist’s Guide to Berlin: Where to Eat“.

Take a look and if you have more places to add, include it in the comment section.Like this blog, éclaires take time to put together but the rewards of both make it time well spent

The choux pastry itself is straightforward, as long as you follow a few rules, the most important of which is: keep your ratios correct.  In other words, don’t let your butter and milk (or water depending on your recipe) evaporate way down and then add your flour.

Coffee Éclairs adapted from a recipe by Claire Ptak printed in Jaime magazine (issue 18)
(makes 12 small éclairs)

65ml milk
65ml water
50g butter, cut into small cubes, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon of sugar
75g flour
pinch of salt
2 eggs, beaten, plus egg wash

Coffee Custard Filling
250ml whole milk
2 tablespoons whole coffee beans
60g sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons cornflour
25g butter, diced into small cubes

Coffee Glaze
100g icing sugar
2 tablespoons espresso or strong coffee

1. Preheat oven to 180ºC. Line a flat tray with baking paper.
2. Take a large piece of baking paper or aluminum foil and make a sharp crease down the middle. Sift the flour 3 times, ending with the flour on the creased paper / tinfoil. (You will be using it as a funnel to shoot the flour into the milk and butter).
3. Place the milk, butter, sugar, water and a pinch of salt in a saucepan. Bring to the boil quickly then off the heat, shoot the flour in and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until the dough comes away from the sides of the pan.
4. Allow to cool to room temperature and then beat in the eggs a little at a time, making sure it’s fully incorporated before adding more. (If you have a stand beater, plunk it in there and let it do the work). The texture you are trying to attain is one that, were you to scoop up a spoonful with a wooden spoon and flick your wrist, would come off the spoon with a splat. If it clings on, it needs more egg. Your choux should be shiny.
5. Put into a pastry bag fitted with a 1cm nozzle and pipe out 12 éclairs spaced 5cm apart. Brush with egg wash and bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown and puffed up.
6. When cool enough to handle, pierce one end with a metal skewer. Then twirl the skewer around to gather up any webs of dough inside (this will impede your custard from getting to the end of the éclair. If they seem wet inside, put them back in the oven for a few minutes to dry up. While still warm, use a nozzle to make a hole in the skewered end for when you come to filling with custard.

7. For the custard filling, place the milk, coffee beans, sugar and a pinch of salt in a saucepan and heat to just under the boil. Remove from the heat, cover, and leave to steep for 15 minutes. Meanwhile whisk the egg and the cornflour in a small bowl and set aside.
8. Strain the ilk mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl. Return the mixture to the pan and heat again to just under the boil, then whisk 2 tablespoonful into the egg mixture. Pour this back into the pan and whisk constantly over a low heat until you have a thick custard.
9. Strain the custard and then stir to release the steam. Sir in the butter cubes one by one. Place a sheet of cling film on the custard’s surface so a skin doesn’t form, and leave to cool.

10. Put the custard into a piping bag fitted with a 5mm nozzle and fill the choux pastry via the hole on the side. It helps to hold the pastry upright so that gravity helps you a bit. (You can also just slice them in half and spoon the custard in but if you’ve already gone to all this trouble…you might as well.)

11. Sift the icing sugar into a small bowl, then gradually whisk in the espresso. When smooth and glossy, spoon the glaze over the éclairs. Allow the icing to set before you serve.

110 Responses to Coffee Éclairs AND a mention in New York Magazine!

  1. Giulia says:

    Great mentions! Congrats!
    Can you send me some of those eclairs? They look super yummy…

  2. cth says:

    i LOVE the way you’ve interspersed wisdom with eclair pics here. as always, your post is entertaining AND has substance (literally and figuratively ;p)!

    well-deserved mention in NY mag! “foodie in berlin” is truly fantastic to read, even by non-foodie-foodies like me. (non-foodie foodie=person who loves good food but is unwilling to ever go on a special shopping trip for special ingredients, and unwilling to spend extra time to make ‘great’ as opposed to reasonably ‘edible’ food ;)

    xo, christina h

  3. Michele G says:

    Wa-hay! Excellent job :) x

  4. Posts like this should be illegal on a Friday morning when I’m rushing to work.

    Just sayin’…

  5. James says:

    I am tempted to try this! Yum!!

  6. Catherine says:

    Loved the way you told your story in between all these gorgeous/yummy pictures. Congrats on the mention AND the Freshly Pressed!

  7. Lakia Gordon says:

    These look amazing.

  8. Congrats on your mention in NYMag! I read it every day. I just discovered your blog but I can tell that I’m going to love it.

  9. Holy crap that looks yummo.

    Have a great day!

    Mr. Bricks

  10. They are similar to a kind of pastry we have here in Italy…

  11. Vanerz says:

    Oh my gosh, those look so delicious! I shouldn’t be allowed near the kitchen, but I really want to try this now!

  12. What a great post and recipe. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed.

  13. These look so good - you have way more patience than I do when it comes to baking. Congrats on being FP!

  14. eva626 says:

    congrats and those look yummy! you deserved it

  15. alexiemay says:

    this was the most darling blog!!

  16. madryy says:

    Loved how you talked between the photos!

  17. Kuroi says:

    oh wow your Eclairs look sooo yummy. I always looking for a good recipe of Esclairs. I tried many times to make it but failed =_= thanks to you I’ll try to make Esclairs again and let’s see ^^

  18. Those look outstandingly delicious!!! I’ve never had a Coffee Eclair before! Thank you for sharing this with us!

    Also, if possible, I would greatly appreciate it if I could share my blog on this comment. It’s a brand new blog I just started entitled “Logic Meets Reason” ( I invite you and any other readers to check it out, send a comment, and subscribe!

  19. challahgirl says:

    You had me a coffee eclairs!

    Then, your photos and commentary were the icing on the cake.

    Congratulations on your success! :)

  20. Pezcita says:

    Eclairs are almost too sweet sometimes, but coffee eclairs sound like they’d be just right! Especially if they were chocolate mocha eclairs mmmmm.

  21. Beautiful eclairs, gorgeous pictures of them too and super cute one of your daughters hand :) . Congratulations on the New York Magazine mention, you must be thrilled!

  22. Yummy! coffee eclairs recipe, love your simply directions & beautiful photos just out of a gourmet book very professional. Have you thought of publishing your recipes as a gourmet book? or ebook? I would buy it.It would be a great read on the ipad?
    I discovered your blog, just now! I had to comment. I love cooking& baking and I’m going to try your recipe, but I hope it turns out just like your photos.It looks scrumptious!!
    Congratulations on your success! and being featured on NY magazine!
    Thanks,for posted your recipes.I will look forward to more posting and follow your tweets.
    jennifer :)

  23. trialsinfood says:

    the eclairs look yummy! congrats on the mention!

  24. Coffee + eclairs = sucess!!!
    Also, congrats on the mention!

  25. fatisrecipes says:

    Pics, recipe, now I need to try one please…..

  26. Fabulous post! I’m DEF. going to use this recipe.

    Congrats on the Freshly Pressed!! :)

  27. newsy1 says:

    Wow! You almost make me want to bake even though I am somewhat challenged in that area. I love the photo-story concept, it’s so perfect for your subject.

  28. bagnidilucca says:

    Love your blog. Have signed up.

  29. Oh my, I absolutely love this post! Thank you so much for sharing not only your eclair recipe, but also the insights behind the making of the eclair, with your daughter.

    “Things are oppresive only if you think they are going to last forever. And nothing does right?”

    That is BRILLIANT! And I very much needed to hear that :)

    Congratulations on the mention in New York Magazine! I will definitely be checking your blog again.


  30. leadinglight says:

    Nice eclairs. I was introduced to eclairs at my middle school tuckshop first. Felt so guilty upon buying them though.

  31. whatsaysyou says:

    Eclairs galore! Yummy!

  32. antheaallen says:

    Looks incredibly scrumptious! Do you think the recipe would work if I substituted the flour for gluten free flour as I’m gluten intolerant? Fingers crossed it does because I’m dying to try this recipe!

  33. these look fabulous!

  34. love how there’s a parralel between your commentaries on life and the process of making eclairs. it’s a great writing device that i will perhaps use one day. best wishes with your blog!

  35. BAROUFS says:

    Amazing Eclairs! Could you send me some of them in France?

  36. Eh, waking up the day after you’ve been Freshly Pressed is kind of disorientating, in the best possible way of course. It’s like walking back into someone else’s living room or something. Thank you for all the comments and encouragement. I appreciate it.

  37. CONIEFOX says:

    OMG~~You really did great job! it looks so yummy. my mouth is watering!!~~haha

  38. O my! These look sinfully good!

  39. These look ridiculously amazing
    Stop by and say hi.

  40. truthspew says:

    Thanks for the eclair recipe! I’m going to have to try it out.

    My metric skills are good enough to get me through the liquid and dry measures but not the temperature measures.

    I don’t know why the U.S. never fully embraced the metric system. Everything here is metric now anyway. Look at all our products on grocery shelves, other than produce and meat. They all have their weight in the old system and metric.

  41. pattyabr says:

    we made cream puffs a couple of weeks ago and I never realized how easy they were to make. your eclairs look very similar. The Fearless Cooking Club. Congrats on FP!

  42. Emmy says:

    congrats on your recognition! i see why! your pictures are so lovely and bright - what type of camera do you use?? great blog, and gorgeous post!

    check out me and my sister’s blog if you get a chance!

  43. Nice Eclair :)
    I love them cold!

  44. How tasy they look! yum yum

  45. gaycarboys says:

    I wish my baking turned out as well. It must be the touch. Thanks for sharing the recipe. will give it a go.

  46. fazza76 says:

    OMG They look ever so light and fluffy! So much better than shop-brought ones.

  47. Those look delicious! Thank you for the recipe and congratulations on being freshly pressed.

  48. maydelory says:

    I’ve always loved eclairs; especially, chocolate. I’ll look for coffee now.

  49. Oh wow, they look absolutely delicious! Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed. I really want to make some choux pastries.

  50. Liz says:

    My favorite picture of all are the precious little hands in the bowl…..motherhood is the best and most important job of all. :)

  51. Both Blog and Eclair’s = time well spent: Well said, You make both seem effortless, Congrats! :)
    Wish I could have one right now ;)


  53. Clearly you are in a great era - thanks for sharing!

  54. These eclairs look so delicious! I’m practically salivating right now :)

  55. JT says:

    Congratulations, and I wouldn’t worry about running off looking for success, it seems success has found you!

  56. joshuafagans says:

    Wow just found your blog and am very glad that I did. It looks wonderful!

  57. I like how your intersperse your “conversation” with your pictures - as if we are, indeed, talking together!

    One question, though - what, exactly, is corn flour? Do you know what the United States equivalent is? Is it corn meal?

  58. nehaduggal says:

    OMG…I loved how you kept me in your reading with your pictures…amazing…very creative…and would I try that!! Yum Yum…I wish to write like this in the future considering am a fairly new blogger. Thank You for sharing. Hope you will stop by to say hi on my blog!!


  59. I’ve always preferred to make my Eclaires than buy them outside!

  60. Though my kids are all grown up family still love eclairs and we too made them just last week … a whole batch of them……but as I spooned the batter onto the baking tray they were round in shape. My recipe blog is at

  61. I’ve never made Eclairs before, but this recipe looks fairly simple - not to mention delicious! I just might - might - give this a try! Coffee Eclairs! Awesome.

  62. kethuprofumo says:

    They look very tasty! Nice!

  63. Pingback: Want A Little Taste of Heaven? « Steena Holmes

  64. Those look fantastic and I don’t even like eclairs! I’m guessing the coffee got me since other eclairs just seem too sweet. Congrats on the mention in NY Magazine!!

    • The icing is what makes the eclairs sweet but that’s it. The choux itself has almost none and the custard is also not very sweet. They are the only flavour eclair I like and it should be said, I am not one who normally goes for coffee flavoured desserts.

  65. Those look amazing! I tried my hand at making eclairs a while back, and let’s just say mine were more flat than yours. :) I’m a little nervous to try again, but after reading this post, I just might.


  66. Sylee says:

    Heavens, I still think back on these sometimes, you know? Congratulations on the NYMag mention & Freshly Pressed!

  67. Lovely writing. I also stayed home with my children (I had four) until they went to school and the time was filled with food. They have all grown up to be good cooks. I am sure your wee girl will grow up to love good food too. It is a very special gift to be able to stay home and teach your child yourself. All children love to stand on a chair and help cook. I was especially taken with the shot of her little fingers sneaking a dip. I often make my own pastry and am looking forward to trying your recipe. Thank you. c

    • 4?! That is a whole other level. I think being a parent to one is relatively easy. When you get to two and above it becomes a lot more challenging. Having said that, I am looking forward to more children. They are such interesting people. And yes, I feel very fortunate to be able to be here with her. I have to remind myself of that on days where we drive each other up the wall : )

  68. They look divine! I will definitely be making them at some point.
    Congratulations on the New York magazine mention

  69. These look amazing! I CANNOT wait to try this recipe! :)

  70. blahvoila says:

    I wish I had one right now!

  71. Congrats on the mention. I like your description of the restaurant.

  72. ModernManila says:

    Nice post and the images looks great. Thanks for the recipe, I may break out my pans and try it out.

  73. Pingback: Food Blog Community Faves! | The Happy Mouth

  74. BlahSquared says:

    aaaah, You are giving me life with this recipe….

  75. dwi says:

    Hmmm yummy. I can’t wait to try.

  76. Liz says:

    Delish! Also, I adore the outlook you have of the time with your daughter. Keep writing!

  77. Oh, i love this post! So full of wisdom. And I ended up craving eclairs at 1 in the morning.

    Have a good week!

  78. shinnalim says:

    Thanks for sharing!! Looks yummy :)

  79. What a gorgeous looking recipe! I love making my own eclairs but haven’t yet tried coffee. I did make white chocolate and green tea ones the other day though which were incredible.
    Huge congratulations on the mention - keep up the good work!

  80. It looks fantastic, Congratulations, enjoy the moment.

  81. Marissa Jean says:

    Oh my word! Those look delicious.

  82. Pingback: Coffee Éclairs AND a mention in New York Magazine! (via foodieinberlin’s Blog) « I Want To Make the World My Home

  83. Sherice says:

    These look amazing! I’ve been wanting to make eclairs…might have to give your recipe a go :) Thanks for sharing! I’ll be back to see what else you’ve been up to!

  84. The Feed says:

    The little hand! Great shot and a wonderful congrats to your published piece in NYmag.

  85. I’ll be in Berlin this fall for NYU study abroad and will be switching over my blogging from (…I’m currently in Beijing) to (which I’ve registered, but have yet to set up). I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to come ‘encounter’ you and your cooking if i may. and little Layla too. would you be up to perhaps host a baking get together?

  86. Petra Z Malovrh says:

    Congrats! Much deserved!

  87. Pingback: Let’s Get Pressed | I Blog, Therefore I Am

  88. ihsanashi says:

    thanks for the recipe, Ill give them a try :D

  89. I’m with you. Sometimes its hard to spend all day with a child without a break but then I’m glad I have the opportunity to spend this time with my daughter. Everyone says that it goes by fast but I’m sure when I look back I’ll appreciate that I didn’t work this time.

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